The Texas Stars wrapped up the regular season with three straight wins over San Antonio last week and now move onto the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs, which open Friday at Cedar Park Center. Texas (40-22-14) finished fifth in the Western Conference and will take on fourth-place Rockford in the first round. The series will be a 2-3 format with the first two games in Cedar Park and the final three scheduled for Rockford. Plus, more of Dallas’ top prospects arrive in Cedar Park. Here’s the latest on Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate.
First round playoff schedule
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 24 – Rockford at Texas, 7:30
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 25 – Rockford at Texas, 7:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 29 – Texas at Rockford, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., May 1 – Texas at Rockford, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 2 – Texas at Rockford, 7:00
Dickinson, Ully, Backman join Texas
More Dallas prospects joined the Texas Stars last week. Center Jason Dickinson, a first-round pick (29th overall) in 2013, was assigned to Texas after his junior season with Guelph of the Ontario Hockey League ended. Dickinson registered three assists in two games with Texas over the past week.
“Dickinson is a smart, heady player, a two-way player,” Texas coach Derek Laxdal told media after the Stars’ regular season finale. “He skates well and he’s not afraid of traffic.
Defenseman Mattias Backman, acquired from Detroit in the Erik Cole trade, came to Cedar Park after his season in the Swedish Hockey League ended. He played one game and did not register any points.
“He looks like a pretty special player,” Laxdal told media. “He’s a heady player. Moves the puck well. You saw the work he did on the power play.”
Left wing Cole Ully, a fifth-round pick (131st overall) in 2013, arrived in Texas after his junior season with Kamloops of the Western Hockey League ended. Ully got into one game with Texas, picking up an assist. He returned home for the summer after Texas’ final regular season game Saturday.
Tuesday April 14: Texas 3, San Antonio 2
Jussi Rynnas stopped 32 shots and Travis Morin and Brendan Ranford had one goal and one assist each as Texas won 3-2 at San Antonio last Tuesday. Kevin Henderson also scored for Texas, which built a 3-0 lead by the midway point of the game.
Friday April 17: Texas 3, San Antonio 2
Jussi Rynnas set a franchise record with 52 saves and Justin Dowling set a franchise mark by scoring 16 seconds into the game as Texas won 3-2 at San Antonio Friday night. Brendan Ranford and Matej Stransky also scored for Texas. Rynnas’ 52-save effort broke Cristopher Nilstorp’s record of 49 saves set against Rockford on Apr. 20, 2013.
Saturday April 18: Texas 4, San Antonio 3 (OT)
Brendan Ranford’s goal at 4:49 of overtime lifted the Stars to a 4-3 win over San Antonio in the regular season finale at Cedar Park Center Saturday evening. Matej Stransky scored two goals, and Julius Honka also scored for Texas. Jason Dickinson had two assists and Jack Campbell stopped 30 shots.
*C Travis Morin led Texas in scoring with 63 points (22 goals, 41 assists) in 63 games.
*RW Greg Rallo led Texas with 27 goals in 72 games.
*D Julius Honka finished third in scoring among rookie defensemen with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 68 games.
*LW Derek Hulak tied for ninth in rookie scoring with 44 points (21 goals, 23 assists) in 68 games.
*G Jack Campbell went 11-3-0 in his last 14 appearances in the regular season with a 2.45 goals against average and .930 save percentage.
Here is where Texas ranked in some key statistical categories.
Goals for: 3.18 (3rd)
Goals against: 2.84 (17th)
Shots for: 31.76 (9th)
Shots against: 32.58 (26th)
Power play: 20.0 (3rd)
Penalty kill: 86.9 (4th)
Here is the Texas lineup from the last game.
Brendan Ranford – Justin Dowling – Brett Ritchie
Curtis McKenzie- Devin Shore – Greg Rallo
Matej Stransky – Jason Dickinson – Scott Glennie
Cole Ully – Gemel Smith – Branden Troock
Jamie Oleksiak – Maxime Fortunus
Cameron Gaunce – Patrik Nemeth
Mattias Backman – Julius Honka
4/16: C Jason Dickinson assigned to Texas (AHL) from Guelph (OHL)
4/16: D Mattias Backman assigned to Texas (AHL) from Linkoping (SHL)
4/16: LW Cole Ully assigned to Texas (AHL) from Kamloops (WHL)
The Idaho Steelheads, Dallas’ ECHL affiliate, has a 2-1 lead over Utah in its first round series of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Games 4 and 5 are in Boise this Friday and Saturday.
Game 1 - Apr 15Utah (2) at Idaho (3) OT
Game 2 - Apr 17Idaho (2) at Utah (3)
Game 3 - Apr 18Idaho (5) at Utah (4) OT
Game 4 - Apr 24Utah at Idaho 8:10 PM CDT
Game 5 - Apr 25Utah at Idaho 8:10 PM CDT
* Game 6 - Apr 27Idaho at Utah 8:00 PM CDT
* Game 7 - Apr 28Utah at Idaho 8:10 PM CDT